When the three district councils within Mid Ulster come together to make one super council, the current Police & Community Safety Partnerships (PCSP) that serve those areas, will follow suit.
Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt, which between them now have 23 independent members as well as a larger number of public representatives, will align to form one super PCSP that covers all of Mid Ulster.
And just as the new super-council will take the helm from April 1, 2015, so will it.
The old PCSPs were made up of seven independent members in Cookstown, as well as seven in Dungannon and a further nine in Magherafelt - and together they had over twice as many independents as is likely to be on the new super PCSP, according to the Policing Board.
The recruitment drive for up to nine independent positions available on the new PCSP will be kicking off soon, said a spokesperson.
Cathal Mallaghan, chair of the new Mid Ulster super-council has hailed the move as “another example of how RPA can achieve efficiencies and reduce administration for local government and their partners.
“Those who are recruited will have a much more difficult job to do, representing larger area’s and dealing with district-wide issues including the PCSP spread over G and F District,” he told the Mail.
PCSPs are made up of both councillors and independent people from each council area, who work to together to make the community safer for all and hold the police to account.
They are expected to adhere to a strict code of conduct, whilst consulting and engaging with the public, identifying areas of concern, monitoring policing and helping to reduce crime.
The Policing Board website states that “they do this by focussing on the policing and community safety issues that matter most in your area”.
PCSPs were established under the Justice Act (NI) 2011 and first set up on April 1, 2012. Their funding comes from both the Policing Board and Department of Justice.